Critically acclaimed artist and historian Morgan Monceaux shared his creative process for developing his new art series, which focuses on the accomplishments of the first Negro Baseball League, at the Reagan Washington National Airport’s annual Black History Month event on Wednesday.
A crowd of students and travelers gathered near a makeshift gallery near the airports baggage claim area listened intently as Monceaux discussed how he chooses subjects and finds materials and motivation for his series of portraits. Monceaux, who describes himself as an “urban folk artist,” has created several works focused on the contributions of African-Americans to history, culture and the performing arts.
“The unique interaction between Morgan, who is an internationally known artist, and travelers and students encourages creativity in the region and other destinations as well,” said Paul Malandrino, Reagan Washington National Airport Manager. “We’ve discovered that having artwork on display throughout the airport really enhances the overall travel experience for our passengers.”
“I was honored that the airport chose to showcase my artwork for those who travel to the region,” said Monceaux. “This concept was able to open a healthy and lively art dialogue about American artists, our work and contributions.”
Monceaux’s exhibit “Hail to the Chiefs: Portraits of the United States Presidents and First Ladies” is currently on display at the airport until Feb. 28, 2013. Travelers can expect to see portraits of George and Martha Washington, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Barack and Obama and other U.S. presidents and their wives.
This event was made possible through the Airports Authority Arts Program, which offers diverse regional, national and international exhibits, live performances and public art displays. For more information about this program visit the Reagan National and Dulles International airports “Arts Program” pages at mwaa.com.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority was established in 1987 by the governments of Virginia and the District of Columbia to manage and operate Washington’s Ronald Reagan National and Dulles International airports, which together serve more than 40 million passengers a year. The Airports Authority also operates and maintains the Dulles Airport Access Road and the Dulles Toll Road and manages construction of the Silver Line project, a 23-mile extension of the Washington region’s Metrorail system into Loudoun County, Va. No taxpayer money is used to operate the toll road, which is funded by toll revenues, or the airports, which are funded through aircraft landing fees, rents and revenues from concessions. The Silver Line construction is funded by a combination of toll-road revenues, airport contributions and federal, state and local government appropriations. The Airports Authority is led by a 17- member board of directors appointed by the governors of Virginia, Maryland, the mayor of Washington, D.C., and the president of the United States.